Saturday, December 12, 2015

When I Am Weak


I have a whole new crop of residents at my nursing home art class. The class had gotten quite large, but the regulars slowly got too feeble or moved on to greener pastures. Most of my class yesterday were newbies.

They all came in with the same mantra: "Oh, I can't draw."
"I can teach anyone to draw," I assured them. I don't have a great deal of confidence in life, but I AM confident about this.

"We'll see about that," one smiling woman said.

The nurse's aide wheeled in a gentleman who looked half asleep. He did not respond to my questions, and looked confused. I lost a little confidence in my proclamation that I could teach anyone to draw. I set out pencils, paper, and pastels. The man in the wheelchair, who I will call Bert, didn't glance at them. He looked straight ahead, as though in a trance.

I had everyone draw basic geometric shapes in the air with full arm movements. Bert didn't follow us, but the rest of the class complied. I assured them that was all they needed to be able to do to draw an angel.

"Ha ha," the smiling woman said, "We'll see about that!"

Step by step, I guided them. I walked around the room to be sure everyone was comfortable with the shapes we were drawing. I ignored Bert, since he looked comatose. He may have been sleeping, in fact.

We were halfway done with the angel, which by now looked like an angel on every person's drawing pad. Then I walked over to Bert. He had followed every single step, and had drawn a recognizable angel. I was flabbergasted.

As I instructed my little class on the details, Bert's expression never changed. He never smiled. He never even looked quite awake, but he drew a very passable angel, down to the detail of feathers on her wings.

Bert reminded me of an important spiritual truth.
"When I am weak, then I am strong."

It is in our weakness, at the end of our selves that we truly know the power of God. If we can do it all on our own, why do we need God? I wonder if God brings us the indignity of the aging process for this very reason. We are not strong. We are not immortal. We are not good. We came from dust, and to dust we will return.

But we ARE created by a loving God in His image, and His greatest desire is to love and draw us to Him. In His power, we can do all things. When we are weak, He takes over.

As the class filed out, the smiling woman thanked me. She was quite proud of her angel. Bert remained at the table, staring blankly ahead. However, as they wheeled him out, he clutched the angel drawing in his hands.
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2 Corinthians 12: 8-10
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.




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